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Posts Tagged ‘Janet Shamlian’

‘Today’ Turns To Babies For Programming Stunt

NBC’s “Today” is turning to newborns for a programming stunt this week. Dubbed #BornTODAY, the stunt features correspondents and camera crews in maternity wards across the country tuning in as babies are being born, in some cases live, on-air.

Take this report from Janet Shamlian, who asks the new mother how she is doing after giving birth just seconds earlier “Look at that camera and tell us!” before giving her a “Today” onesie.

WATCH:

“Today” says it will examine all aspects of having and raising babies over the course of the week. As funny as it seems, it actually isn’t a new idea. ABC’s “Good Morning America” famously had a programming stunt it called “Baby Oh baby!” in 2001 and again in 2011. The network had crews and correspondents cover a maternity ward for 24 hours, and covered the birth of 41 children.

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A Party Tonight, Before the Today Celebration

The party’s still going at the Edison Ballroom in Times Square as the “Today” show celebrates its 60th anniversary. The morning milestone began with a welcome from “Today” frontman Matt Lauer before singer Pit Bull took the stage.

Fourth hour hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford were early arrivals, with Kotb (below) front and center during Pit Bull’s set. We spotted NBC News president Steve Capus and “Today” EP Jim Bell working the room, as longtime EP and, later NBCU president Jeff Zucker was deep in conversation with former “Today” anchor Meredith Vieira.

“Today” senior broadcast producer Don Nash, who’s been with the show more than a third of its life — 23 years — tells TVNewser tomorrow’s anniversary program is not to be missed. All former living on air talent — save for Joe Garagiola and Gene Shalit who aren’t able to make it — will be a part of the show. And we spotted many of them at the party tonight, including Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, (above) Barbara Walters, John Palmer and Hugh Downs.

NBC spared no expense flying in correspondents from other NBC bureaus including Andrea Mitchell, Kerry Sanders, Kevin Tibbles, Janet Shamlian and Luke Russert.

Brian Williams stopped in after “Nightly News.” And we chatted with “Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Jenna Wolfe and Amy Robach, here with husband Andrew Shue, and said hello to Willard Scott on our way out. Other “Today” regulars celebrating¬† included Jill Rappaport, Martha Stewart, the Scotto family and Bobby Flay. We chatted with Andy Cohen (mostly about NeNe Leakes) who later tonight will be interviewing Rosie O’Donnell on his Bravo show, “Watch What Happens Live.”

Rounding out the crowd: Willie Geist, Jeff Rossen, Martin Bashir, Carl Quintanilla, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Tyler Mathisen, MSNBC president Phil Griffin and CNBC president Mark Hoffman and many more I may have missed. Because, as I said, the party is still going. Then, tomorrow at 7am, “Today” takes the party nationwide.

Andrea Mitchell and Jeff Zucker

Kerry Sanders and Jenna Wolfe

(Photos: Chris Ariens)

Mississippi Flooding: Who’s Covering

Fox News Channel has sent Rick Richmeuth and Jonathan Serrie to Memphis to cover the flooding along the Mississippi River, and further south in Mississippi, Steve Harrigan and Elizabeth Prann are covering. CNN has David Mattingly, Ted Rowlands and Ed Lavandera along the river. On MSNBC expect to see NBC News correspondent Janet Shamlian in Memphis, as well as Weather Channel reporters in the days ahead. CBS’s Mark Strassmann is covering, Bloomberg’s Lizzie O’Leary is downriver in Norco, LA and as we mentioned earlier, ABC’s Diane Sawyer will anchor tonight from Memphis.

Sarah Palin Parties with the Main (or is it Lame?) stream Media

Seeming to put politics aside for a few hours — not one but two GOP governors stopped in to the MSNBC After Party last night at the Italian Embassy in Washington DC: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — often the target of MSNBC’s opinionated hosts — and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (right, meeting NBC News correspondent Luke Russert for the first time). Palin, as we reported yesterday, was the guest of Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren.

As MSNBC host/mixologist Rachel Maddow made a drink for “Glee’s” Jane Lynch, MSNBC boss Phil Griffin, worked the room. It’s his after party afterall. And not missing an opportunity to synergize, Cee lo Green, of NBC’s “The Voice” was the entertainment.

In addition to Van Susteren, we spotted Bret Baier from Fox News chatting with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. NBC News president Steve Capus and “Today” show EP Jim Bell — who’d both just returned from London covering the Royal Wedding and sharing ratings info on his Blackberry. Looks like “Today” was #1 again on Royal Wedding day. (Final numbers later on TVNewser).

Eliot Spitzer in tow with CNN’s chief communicator Christa Robinson; Roland Martin, David Bohrman, and Sam Feist also of CNN and ABC’s Jim Sciutto.

We chatted up CNBC’s Rick Santelli, in from Chicago, Carl Quintanilla and Hampton Pearson. NBC’s Janet Shamlian, and Kelly O’Donnell and MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan and Contessa Brewer, now almost four months along. Ed Schultz was proud to tell us he’s overtaken Anderson Cooper in the ratings at 10pm, in just his third month on the air. “Big news,” says big Ed.

Meanwhile, over at the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair party, tipsters tell us Jake Tapper, Dave Price, John Dickerson, Chris Isham, Gayle King, and Seth Meyers [who'd poked fun at the thought that the Bloomberg party was a hot ticket], were still in full party mode at 2:15am. “The patio is still packed,” we were emailed. “They started serving breakfast snacks.”

As Ike Gets Closer to Shore, So Do the Networks

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ABC’s Sam Champion had arrived in Texas in time for Nightline last night. CNN’s Anderson Cooper broadcast live from Houston as well, and while getting an update from meteorologist Chad Myers asked Myers to email him the best (or perhaps worst) location to broadcast from tonight.

This morning, CNN and MSNBC have begun squeezing back their programming, keeping Hurricane Ike stats on the screen.

Even The Weather Channel is trying to show the seriousness of the Cat 2 storm to anyone choosing to ride it out. Here’s their morning headline: “A Potential Life-Threatening Surge from Ike.”

We’ll update this post throughout the day as we hear who is going to be covering the storm and from where…

• CNN — More than 70 anchors, correspondents, producers and support-personnel will report along the Texas coastline, representing CNN/U.S., CNN International, CNN Espanol, CNN Radio, CNN.com and Headline News. In addition to Cooper, Rick Sanchez, Gary Tuchman, Sean Callebs, Betty Nguyen, Susan Candiotti, Jeanne Meserve, Ali Velshi, Rusty Dornin, Rob Marciano and Reynolds Wolf will report on the storm. CNN will remain live all night and into the morning.

• CBS — Hari Sreenivasan is in Houston. Dave Price is in Galveston. Both will report for the Evening News tonight and The Early Show tomorrow.

• FNC — Geraldo Rivera, Steve Harrigan and Marianne Silber are in Galveston, TX, as is Jeff Flock from FBN. Kris Gutierrez is in Surfside Beach, Freeport, Casey Stegall is in Clear Lake and Rick Leventhal is in Port Lavaca. Also, Shepard Smith anchors tonight from 10pm-MidnightET (from New York), followed by Rivera Midnight-3amET and Jamie Colby from 3am-6amET.

• NBC/MSNBC/CNBC — Amy Robach is in Galveston for Today & Weekend Today. Janet Shamlian, Don Teague, Kerry Sanders, Charles Hadlock, Kristen Dahlgren and Jay Gray are on the scene, as is NBC Weather Plus meteorologist Jeff Ranieri and CNBC’s Scott Cohn. NBC will also use correspondents and meteorologists from soon-to-be owned The Weather Channel.

• ABC — In addition to Sam Champion, GMA Weekend’s Bill Weir is in Texas as well as Sharyn Alfonsi and Ryan Owens.

NBC’s Gustav Plans: Brian Williams to the Gulf, Tom Brokaw at the RNC

This time, no one is taking any chances.

With the potential of being as severe or even worse than Hurricane Katrina three years ago, Hurricane Gustav is challenging network executives like no story in recent memory. Just like RNC planners, themselves facing a scaled back gathering, news executives, too, have been huddled all weekend coming up with their coverage plans.

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NBC’s Brian Williams covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

NBC News will place Nightly News anchor Brian Williams along the Gulf coast while his predecessor on Nightly News, Tom Brokaw handles anchor duties from St. Paul. “There’s nobody who can put the kind of talent on both stories like NBC News,” division head Steve Capus told TVNewser today. “There’s no such thing as a “B” team when your anchor is Tom Brokaw,” Capus says. For his part, Williams will combine both stories tonight. He’s scored an interview with Sen. McCain that will air on tonight’s Nightly News.

NBC & MSNBC will also have the benefit of on and off camera meteorologists from the Weather Channel. “We feel great that with our pending acquisition of the Weather Channel, we’ve got at least five correspondents from the Weather Channel. That just rounds out a strong reporting team,” Capus says.

Complicating matters for NBC back in St. Paul, the network is the broadcast pool, providing video coverage for all networks. “From a technical load we have a tremendous burden,” Capus says. “We’re not pulling anything on the tech side out of St. Paul.” And as for any criticism that might be leveled at the network from those who might claim unequal DNC & RNC coveraage, Capus says, “The McCain campaign and the RNC have been incredibly sensitive to what’s happening in the Gulf, and we’ve tried to do the same.” Capus doesn’t rule out Williams traveling to St. Paul to report on the final day of the RNC, again, all depending on the storm.

Another NBC News reporter not going to St. Paul: Luke Russert. NBC says he’ll be going to Memphis to cover the evacuation of Gulf coast residents.

Click continued to read NBC’s press release. We’ll highlight other networks’ coverage plans in later posts…

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